Thursday, June 30, 2011


3 years down. This is special for me because for three years there are friends of mine, poets, organisations that have said you keep going with this, we’ve got your back. So awed. This year we had more than double of submissions and had to go outside Uganda to get reviews on the poems. The theme, Hope, generated a lot of interesting pieces. Some were downright incredible and others, let’s just say that with poetry, there will usually be one word or mark that make it better.
Tomorrow the ceremony will be at Kati Kati and the guest of honour is Hon Jouyce Mpanga. This lady was at the helm of the Gender Ministry and created the policy. You see, back in the day, Ministers actively participated in the development of the country. (ahem ahem)
I’ m looking forward to it. Susan Kerunen will perform to Okot p Bitek’s Song of Lawino, now that is a must watch. I read his poem again and as I turned each page, I was captivated by the strong use of imagery. And we still get people who do not want to learn from the best.
Beatrice Lamwaka, who was shortlisted for this year’s African Caine Prize will read from her short story, Butterfly Dreams. Sophie alal, last year’s BNPA winner will also give us a little something something. And then we will give out the awards. Thanks so much for all of you who still believe that this award must stand for something. It makes me proud. The sponsors, Stichting Doen, madandcrazyblogspot and Amakula Kampala Cultural Foundation-mwah!
And then Saturday I leave for the Grahamstown Arts festival in South Africa, looking soooooooooooooo forward, also because it will give me my much needed rest.
Bless you all.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stormy Heart by Mildred Kiconco Barya

Stormy Heart
A heart like mine
But generous
I welcome him,
We are us.

Shades start to peel
Revealing hwo they are
Once more,
I’ve been deceived.

There are many
Coming through my open door
My sister advises
I should have a selection method
Tight and soundproof
But that way, I tell her
I might block the real thing
Cut the oxygen to my heart
What if there’s nothing left of a heart?
I see splinters.

Another time a friend asks,
Have I any children?
‘I am sure there have been men.’
‘At your age they’ve given you no children?’
‘They’ve given me principles,’
He laughs,
I tell him there’s another thing,
Absent fathers
Missing husbands
Lone mothers
There are too many.

Now I am seated by the ocean
Wind roars,
Waves roll and rock with the shore
Turbulence swells
Just like it is
With my stormy heart.

Published in her third poetry collection, Give me room to move my feet. Amalion Publishing, 2009.